Each week, members of the WFPL News team spotlight interesting stories we’ve read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:
Gabe Bullard:Gay Talese was just on the Longform Podcast. The [recent annotation of his legendary piece Frank Sinatra Has A Cold got a fair amount of discussion. But what was more surprising is that Talese, unlike all the journalism and magazine nerds out there, doesn’t seem that wild about the story. Rather, he prefers his profile of a New York Times obituary writer Alden Whitman, called Mr. Bad News. Longform now has the rights to post this story. It’s the first time it’s ever been online. Read Mr. Bad News.
Laura Ellis: It was a great day in the public radio building when some altruistic soul brought in a bottle of Sriracha sauce (folks in my family call it rooster sauce) to the break room. Since then it has been replenished a couple times, and it makes even the most bland microwave lunches taste better. So when I came across this article about the unlikely success of this sauce (they don’t advertise, they don’t keep track of where the sauce is sold, they don’t have a facebook, etc.) I couldn’t resist reading it, and it was pretty awesome. Read The Little-Known History of the World’s Coolest Hot Sauce.
Devin Katayama: There are fewer conversations around reforming educators than there are about reforming education itself. But many have recognized that changes to teacher preparation programs at the university and college level need to happen at the same time public education receives its makeover. Among reformers, there is a fair amount of consensus about what it would take to fix things. The first step is to make teacher colleges much more selective. According to one respected study, only 23 percent of American teachers — and only 14 percent in high-poverty schools — come from the top third of college graduates. Read An Industry of Mediocrity.
Joseph Lord: Two things that interest me—news about the Philippines (my mom’s from there) and creative story presentation on the Web. The New York Times combines both when considering a dispute between the Philippines and China over a tiny piece of land in the South China Sea. The region, The Times declares, is the “unlikely battleground in a geopolitical struggle that will shape the future of the South China Sea and, to some extent, the rest of the world.” Read (and see) A Game of Shark and Minnow.